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Transgenders Harassed Again

Rajesh , 2788

The transgender community once again felt let down by the film-industry after the new Shankar movie sparked controversy. They raised opposition to the latest blockbuster ‘I’ for depicting them in a bad light.


The movie which is directed by Shankar sees Vikram play has a hunchback hero and his opposite number is Amy Jackson. In that movie, controversy arose for the portrayal of the character Osma Jasmine (Ojas Rajani).


The transgender make-up artist can be seen flirting with Vikram throughout the movie in a sex offensive manner. It sparked a lot of controversy, which led the community to carry out protest in various parts of Tamil Nadu urging the removal of objectionable scenes.


According to The New Indian Express, one of the transgenders said only recently transgenders were being increasingly accepted socially and most of them had started living with their parents, a situation that did not prevail a few years back.


But they claim that in the movie ‘I’, the portrayal of transgender does not reflect the reality and they have been projected in a very derogatory manner bordering on indecency. Raising these issues they have filed petitions to the concerned department officials to remove such scenes.


There are even scenes in the movie involving comedian Santhanam and hero Vikram teasing transgender. Hence, the protestors also demanded an unconditional apology from filmmamker Shankar, actor Vikram and comedian Santhanam for negative portrayal of the transgender character. Also the community has demanded transgender representation in the censor board to ensure that this does not recur in the future.


Paruthiveeran sparked similar controversy


This however is not the first time such controversies have arisen. When Ameer’s Paruthiveeran was released in 2007, similar situation arose for one particular song ‘Oororam Puliyamaram’ which became an instant hit. One transgender said to have faced the full wrath of that incident.


According to The Hindu, ‘Living Smile’ Vidya, a transgender and a theatre actor said: “Indians are not taught about transgender people as a part of education and get most of their information from popular movies. Whenever movies portray us negatively the reaction is instant. When Ameer’s Paruthiveeran came out, I had personally faced harassment by a guy who sang ‘Oororam Puliyamaram’ before throwing a water packet on my face.”


It is not new for the community being humiliated by film-makers; despite it only they know the real pain which is caused by the movie. Film-makers ideas should inspire people and not create antagonisms just to make a couple of people laugh in the theatre. It’s time for movies to follow the footsteps of films like ‘Muni 2 - Kanchana’ to give equal importance to the community.

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Rajesh , 2788